It seems weird to justify what I write in my own blog but I was recently sent a piece by Mark Llobrera that resonated with me and I wanted to spin off of it.
The fear of stating the obvious is one of my primary personal roadblocks to writing.
I have a horrible time deciding whether or not I should write something because I feel like I shouldn’t take the time if it won’t be original. I fear that more than I fear writing something people won’t read.
Once I’ve written something, I’m disappointed if it doesn’t get a response, but that doesn’t really kick in until after I’ve published it.
The funny thing is the quote from The Web Ahead that inspired Llobrera’s piece:
I wish people would write more… In the future, we would have a better understanding of what people are thinking now. I’m very glad that I’ve been doing my blog for 15 years. I can go back to 2002 and get a feel for what it was like to build websites. Back then we thought X was true or hadn’t even considered Y. You forget these things. Having these written records—not of anything important or groundbreaking—but just the day-to-day. The boring stuff. That’s actually what’s most interesting over time.
I’ve specifically stated that this is why I write up my code samples the way that I do. I want to document what I was thinking at the time that I wrote a certain piece of code. It may not be original or it may become outdated but it explains how I think.
For some reason, while I apply that logic to code samples, I give myself a different standard for my free writing.
I think what I need to remember is that I’m writing, first and foremost, because I like writing. If I want to put something to paper (so to speak), it shouldn’t matter if someone else has as well.
Last week I threw out a whole piece I’d written about WordPress issue #34976. I threw it out because I had dug into why WordPress plugins weren’t updating for me and was writing up my findings when I discovered that WP already knew, so I figured I shouldn’t bother. Had I published it, though, it would show my thought process through tracking down the bug, which is something I say I want to do.
Clearly I have work to do on this and reading that piece makes me realize it.